This Sunday at the Cain’s Ballroom, the Brazos Valley Boys celebrate their 75th anniversary, as well as the 70th anniversary of their former boss’s first big hit, “Wild Side of Life.” That man, of course, was Hank Thompson, who I think is one of the two artists who could legitimately vie with Bob Wills for the King of Western Swing title. (The other? Spade Cooley, about whom the term “western swing” was actually coined.)
Saturday on SWING ON THIS, I’ve got a song from still another Thompson/BVB landmark: the 60-year-old LP AT THE GOLDEN NUGGET, the first live album recorded by a country music artist. It’s the only “live” track on the show this week — unless you count a Johnnie Lee Wills set at the end, from transcribed sessions the boys did with announcer Frank Sims — but there’s plenty of other great music, including probably the best Indonesian version of “San Antonio Rose” you’ll ever hear. Plus Casey Van Beek and the Tulsa Groove, Leon McAuliffe, the Tractors, Ray Pennington, and one of America’s all-time-great pop vocalists taking on a cowboy classic.
So, if that sounds like the sort of thing you’d enjoy, c’m’on along for a big full hour of western swing, cowboy jazz, and a surprise or two as well. That’s SWING ON THIS, Saturday at 7 p.m. Tulsa time over radio station KWGS, 89.5 FM, and live-streaming throughout the known universe at publicradiotulsa.org
1. “Cotton Patch Blues,” Bob Wills and His Texas Playboys(for JAMES BAILEY)